Pisgah National Forest Is Western North Carolina's Favorite Playground

Filled with peaks, waterfalls, and hiking trails, there's outdoor fun for everyone.

To visit a landscape of unbelievable natural beauty, set your sights on Pisgah National Forest, Western North Carolina's 500,000-acre wonderland of waterfalls, rivers, and hundreds of miles of scenic trails. It's a destination for outdoor adventure all year round and offers up acre after acre of unforgettable views. Located a short drive north of Asheville, Hendersonville, and Brevard, the park is easy to access and breathtaking to experience.

The USDA Forest Service describes the forest as "a land of mile-high peaks, cascading waterfalls, and heavily forested slopes." It has a long and interesting history, as it's part of a piece of land acquired under the Weeks Act of 1911, which led to the establishment of many more national forests in the U.S. "It is also home of the first school of forestry in the United States, now preserved at the Cradle of Forestry in America historic site, and boasts two of the first designated wilderness areas in the east," according to the Forest Service. One of Pisgah's biggest claims to fame are its incredible tall summits; in fact, some of the forest's peaks are the highest found anywhere east of the Mississippi River.

Looking Glass Falls
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Today, Pisgah National Forest is a destination for outdoor recreation, including cycling, climbing, caving, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and camping. There's adventure aplenty, but even just a short drive through the forest reveals stunning overlooks, verdant hardwood forests, and meandering waterways. Parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway wind through stretches of the forest, and open up to dramatic overlooks, so keep a camera handy.

Another popular drive is the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway (US Highway 276), which connects visitors to several popular attractions including Looking Glass Falls, Moore Cove Falls, and Sliding Rock, a natural water slide that's a can't-miss summertime marvel.

North Carolina's mountains are calling—won't you go?

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